By Nemanja Bjedov
MARCOS Baghdatis advanced to the quarter-finals of the ATP World tour 500 Citi Open in Washington D.C. after knocking out second-seeded Japanese Kei Nishikori 6-1, 6-2 on Thursday.
The match lasted just 58 minutes as the Cypriot broke Nishikori five times and saved three of the four break points he faced. He had 76 per cent of his first serves in and won 62 per cent of his service points to improve to a 4-1 career lead over the world number11.
After receiving a bye into the second round of the tournament, Baghdatis managed to return to winning ways by recording his first singles win on the tour since February.
“It feels great getting back a win in my legs and in my mind,” said Baghdatis after beating Slovakian Lukas Lacko to end his long losing streak.
“I have been working really hard throughout the past six months, even though I lost so many matches. I felt good on court all the time and had a lot of chances to win the matches.
I told myself against Lacko that I needed to go out there and win the match. I played more aggressive, took more chances and immediately I was the boss on the court. With a bit of luck I went through,” he added.
“Washington is a great city, one of the nicest cities in the world. It’s great being here. The fans love tennis here and it’s a great feeling out there, feeling the positive energy. The conditions are pretty humid, a bit like back home. I like it that way. The courts are pretty fast and the balls too; it suits my game,” concluded Baghdatis.
The 28-year-old Cypriot faces towering American John Isner late tonight as he looks to reach his first semi-final since the first week of the season in Brisbane.
However, he faces a tough task as he has never beaten Isner before in their four previous meetings.
The towering Isner has made a strong start to the Emirates Airline US Open Series, winning the Atlanta title last week.
By Nemanja Bjedov